(10/3/2003) Dear Bugman,
Two weeks ago (Mid September), while in the countryside near the central Italian western coast, this friend flew onto our set and settled in. He moved slowly and wasn’t at all intimidated by our presence, poking or prodding. What is the name of this creature; it looks somehow familiar to me, although this was my first trip to Italy.
I thought your beetle looked like a member of the Metallic Wood Boring Beetle family, Buprestidae, but I am not really familiar with European species. I did a google search on Buprestidae Italy and found the following picture with the scientific name Capnodis tenebrionis.
I did a new google search and found this amazing site that needs to be translated: Your beetle goes by the common name Mediterranean Flathead Woodborer. The adults feed on the leaves of apricot trees, almond trees and other stone fruits. The larvae bore into the roots and cause great damage.
Thank you for the great photos.
Ed Note: January 13, 2009
We keep finding wonderful postings that got lost in our site migration last September and this is one.
ED. NOTE Correction: December 31, 2010
We just received a comment from mardikavana identifying this Metallic Borer Beetle as Capnodis cariosa, a different species in the genus we originally identified in 2003.